Match report by Tony Pomeroy
Bridgwater put their recent travails behind them as they took five points from this seven try demolition of Sidmouth. However, the Devon side, smarting from a reported five point deduction for playing an unregistered player, contributed fully to an excellent game of rugby.
The foundation for this result was built on forward domination by the home pack. The scrum was solid throughout with a couple of pushover tries and one impressive drive to steal a Sidmouth scrum. The lineout functioned well with skipper Dan Kemmish back to his imperious best and this aspect of the game also set up two tries.
Bridgwater were in charge in the opening minutes and following a spirited run by prop Joe Bussell, the ball was recycled and reached Lovejoy Chawatama who crashed over under the posts. Heal converted easily.
Sidmouth did not lie down and when Bridgwater lost the ball in midfield, the visitors poured through. Good passing saw the ball reach full back, Ben Salter, who crossed in the right hand corner. Skipper, Dan Retter converted with a superb kick.
Bridgwater’s forwards laid the foundation for the second try. A stolen Sidmouth scrum put the visitors under pressure and a penalty to the corner set the home side up with an attacking line-out. A clean catch by Kemmish was followed by a concerted drive ending with an unconverted try as a reward for Bussell following his work towards the first try.
The next try was almost a replica, this time from 20m out and scored under the posts by scrum half, Roger Drabble, making Heal’s conversion easy. Retter narrowed the gap with an excellent 48m penalty before another Bridgwater powerful scrum saw no 8 Tayler Buller score an unconverted push-over try, earning Bridgwater a bonus point and a 24-10 half time lead.
The fifth try, early in the half was a repeat of the fourth, but with Buller now in the centre following an injury to Will Kerry, Nick Spellissy gained the touchdown.
Sidmouth spurned a couple of kickable penalties in their quest for a try and after a series of penalties against the home side, visiting no 8 Jack Pyne narrowed the gap with a try converted by Retter.
Bridgwater attacked from the restart. A superb long pass from Heal found Ash Honeywell who scored wide out on the left. Heal converted with a magnificent kick.
Bridgwater saved the best until last. Sidmouth lost the ball outside the Bridgwater 22. Flanker, Ollie Dunn picked up and started on a coruscating rum that took him past many attempted tackles to score in the corner with a flamboyant dive. This must be a good candidate for ‘Try of the Season’. Heal’s conversion was wide but it mattered not. Sidmouth continued to play their part to the full but there was to be no more scoring leaving the large crowd delighted with the 43-17 final result.
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Bridgwater have moved one place up the table to seventh following this result five points ahead of Clevedon now that Wadebridge Camels have been deducted five points by the Cornwall RFU.
Bridgwater’s players and coaches will be pleased to have an 80 minute performance under their belts and will look to continue the good work in the Somerset Cup on Wednesday evening when they make the short trip down the A 38 to play Taunton at Hyde Park. This game will start at 7-30 pm and is expected to attract a huge crowd. Do not be late!
Bridgwater have no league match next Saturday and will visit fifth placed Hornets in Weston SM on November 23rd.
Bridgwater & Albion
Tries : Chawatama, Bussell, Drabble, Buller, Spellissy, Honeywell, Dunn
Cons : Heal (4)
Tries : Salter, Pyne
Cons ; Retter (2)
Pen : Retter
Matt House, Rob Allen, Ash Honeywell, Will Kerry, Garryn Basson, Stuart Heal, Roger Drabble, Lovejoy Chawatama, Matt Hastie, Joe Bussell, Ali Blundell, Dan Kemmish (Capt), Nick Spellissy, Ollie Dunn, Tayler Buller.
Reps used: James Bryant, Brian Webb. Unused: Simon Martin
Referee: Christopher Whalen (Oxford)